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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Writing with a sense of urgency

The books I like to read the most feel like they've been written by somebody who had to write them or go crazy. They had to get them out of their heads. I like that kind of urgency.” – Patrick Ness

Born in Virginia on this date in 1971, Ness is a British-American  (with dual citizenship) author, journalist, lecturer, and screenwriter, best known for his Young Adult books, particularly the Chaos Walking trilogy. 

A one-time creative fiction teacher at Oxford University, he started as a corporate writer for a cable company and then as a magazine feature writer.  After moderate success with several short stories, he discovered his real talent lay in the YA field.  Ness's first YA novel The Knife of Never Letting Go came out in 2008, was an instant success, and earned him the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize followed by numerous other awards.                           
                                       Since then he has had one bestseller after another while also building an audience as a much sought-after lecturer.  And, he’s well known as a reviewer, reviewing books for some of England’s top literary magazines and many leading newspapers.

Ness said his writing routine is simple.  “I write 1,000-1,500 words. Then the next day, I rewrite it and add 1,000-1,500 words to the end of it.”  As for his advice to new writers, he said, “How you leave the reader is so important – and not the climax; I call it the 'exit feeling'. “  His leaves you wanting more.

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